Just under a third of critical infrastructure firms will halt operations in response to security breaches over the next few years, according to Gartner.
A recent Gartner survey, which found that 38 per cent of respondents expect to increase spending on operational technology (OT) security by between 5 per cent and 10 per cent in 2021, with a further 8 per cent predicting an increase of above 10 per cent.
“Governments in many countries are now realising their national critical infrastructure has been an undeclared battlefield for decades,” Ruggero Contu, research director at Gartner said.
“They are now making moves to mandate more security controls for the systems that underpin these assets.”
However, the IT research and consultancy company is predicting that by 2025, approximately 30 per cent of critical infrastructure organisations would suffer security breaches, prompting the suspension of operations.
The company is also expecting malicious cyber actors to have weaponised a critical infrastructure cyber-physical system to “harm or kill humans” over the same period.
“Besides the need to catch up, there is a growing number of increasingly sophisticated threats,” Contu added.
“Owners and operators of critical infrastructure are also struggling to prepare for the coming increased oversight.”
Accordingly, Gartner has recommended that security and risk management leaders in critical infrastructure sectors develop a holistic approach to security to support the coordinated management of IT, OT and Internet of Things (IoT) security.
“SRM leaders should accelerate efforts to discover, map and assess the security posture of all cyber-physical systems in their environment,” Contu said.
“Invest in threat intelligence and join industry groups to stay apprised of security best practices, upcoming mandates and requests for inputs from government entities.”